Does this happen in the U.S.?
It happened to me last night here in Barranquilla (Colombia). We happened–kind of by accident–into a movie called Cazadores de sombras: Ciudad de huesos (City of Bones) that just came out, which I hadn’t really heard much about. I just thought, “What the hell, there’s nothing better in the mulit-plex,” and expected a typical “made-primarily-for-foreign-release” type of action/si-fi thing. From the cardboard cut-out they put in the lobby to promote current showings, I could gather that it was based on a best-selling series of books called Mortal Instruments, but I didn’t recognize that title, either.
Anyway, we were a little early, and walking into the individual theater for this particular movie we noticed groups of young women taking pictures of each other in front of the promotion boards for the movie. “Okay, they just like to contextual their Facebook photos, makes sense,” I thought. We sat down before most of the people, but as the rest of the audience started to file in, it became clear that they were all probably under 18, and ALL female, entering in groups of about five or so, greeting each other, etc., as though it were some kind of social event. I was one of only about five men in a theater of a least 200 people.
A few trailers and ads played through normally, but soon the feature film started, but it didn’t really seem so, because many in the audience were talking to each other adamantly, and I thought they were ignoring the film at first, but actually they were commenting on it. It became clear that the lead was a teen girl, but then the first male character came on (the “normal” male character who has a kind of quasi-platonic relationship with the young teen lead), and the first of the teenage girls’ shrieks started. “What, is that Justin Bieber playing the part?” I thought. No, it clearly wasn’t. As the other male characters appeared (all of them generic heart-throb type-cast, none of whom were recognizable), all the girls in the audiences would shriek and swoon. They were audibly on the edges of their seats as to when the moment would come that the main heart-throb “demon hunter” would eventually kiss the lead character, etc., and every word he said directing positive attention toward her it was as though most of the audience were on the verge of fainting. The reactions reached such tremendous volume that I had to read the Spanish subtitles to understand what they were saying in the English dialog track half the time.
I couldn’t figure it out. I asked my SO (who hasn’t been living here recently), but she didn’t know either. These weren’t Colombian celebrity actors; they were American and British, and not very well-known, as far as I could tell. It started to make more sense when I could tell that the girls could predict some of the key plot-points (by saying things like, “No! Don’t give him the chalice!” etc.) , but could it be that a series of books alone has such a great following in Colombia, or even in the States, that it would elicit such a hysteria? It was almost like those old movies of the Beatles where the girls are all shrieking and crying so loud you can’t hear the concert.
I really wondered: I know these series of books can often have fan followings that are pretty serious, such as this:
But from reading something like this I don’t get the impression that the author was shrieking at each appearance of the male characters as she watched the film.
Or maybe she was? Has anyone experienced this phenomenon with this movie or any others?